Kit Harington: Gamer of the Year 2013

PHOTOGRAPH BY JAKE CHESSUM

When you’re in the cast of HBO’s spectacular, far-flung Game of Thrones, the grass is always greener on the other side of Westeros. Kit Harington, who plays Ned Stark’s bastard son, Jon Snow—grimly, but charismatically, confined to the icy North for three seasons now—admits that he sometimes envies his peers ponying the dames in nice, warm palace chambers while “I’m out in the freezing cold with bearded men.” But on the other hand, he says, “Peter Dinklage”—a.k.a. court-intrigue survivor extraordinaire Tyrion Lannister—“told me he really enjoyed the battle of Blackwater in season two. He finally got to go outdoors and fight!”

As for us, we’re down with the whole crew. That’s because GoT—on top of enough mayhem, naked ladies, and barbaric behavior to keep our inner 12-year-old feeling the testosteronic equivalent of a sugar high—never stops peddling a take on power politics that could bring out the wuss in Attila the Hun. (Exhibit A would be last season’s infamously bloody Red Wedding, which Harington loved: “I was jumping for joy that they pulled it off.”) The actor’s spoiler-free preview of next season? “It’s the most action-heavy. It’s the most expensive. And there’s more death.” More death, did you say? Uh-huh: “They haven’t lowered the bar.”

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